Dental Blogs: 10 Things Patients Hate

To give you some pointers on how to write better blogs, let’s look to the folks at GrammarCheck published an infographic with 10 common blog-writing mistake, and it can certainly help dentists.

One of the purposes of writing blogs is to build your credibility by establishing your expertise. If your blogs are filled with these 10 mistakes, they COST you credibility.

Without further ado:

  1. Sentence fragments, run-ons and comma splices.

Let’s not get too bogged down in any of these. Suffice it to say, make sure each sentence has a subject and a verb, and don’t try to jam too much into one sentence.

  1. Be careful with words that sound the same.

Here are three:

  • There means location.
  • Their means belonging to them.
  • They’re means they are.

There are lots of others: its/it’s, your/you’re are two other examples. Use the correct word so you don’t look foolish.

  1. Use the same tenses.

If you are writing in the present, stay in the present. If you are writing in the past, stay in the past. Just don’t go back and forth in the same blog.

  1. Commas.

Even within our own writing staff, few things cause as much debate as the appropriate use of the comma. There are as many rules for comma usage as there are experts, but the most important rule is to be consistent.

  1. Organization.

Keep your work organized. That may mean using an outline, listing, clustering or any number of other techniques. Which method you use is less important than having a clear plan on how you are going to say what you want to say.

  1. Don’t use singular nouns with plural pronouns.

For instance, most of us have written something like, “If a patient is in pain, they can call us for emergency dentistry.” That actually should be, “If patients are in pain, they can call us for emergency dentistry.” Or it could be “If a patient is in pain, he or she can call us for emergency dentistry.”

  1. Inflated writing.

Common phrases such as “in order to,” “in the event of” and “in regards to” can all be distilled down to one word: to, if and about, respectively.

  1. Use apostrophes correctly.

An apostrophe has two uses: to replace deleted numbers or letters, and to make words possessive. So if you want to say “the ’70s,” the apostrophe goes before the 7 (to replace the 19), not between the 0 and s.

And just because a word has an s on the end of it, doesn’t mean it needs an apostrophe. Only if it owns something.

  1. Writing is more formal than speaking.

That means the words you use in speaking, such as like or ’til, you wouldn’t use when writing.

  1. Finally, dangling modifiers.

If you’re going to use a descriptive phrase, make sure it applies to what you intend. For instance, “After getting worse for months, Bob finally decided to have his cracked tooth pulled.” Bob didn’t get worse for months; his tooth did.